Summary: Utilizing Jesus’ words following the Good Confession, we study the whys and hows of being a great church. Material in the first section comes from a sermon by Darryl Dash.

TEXT: MATTHEW 16:13-19 (Don’t read yet)


INTRODUCTION: A. Human beings are not very good at predicting the future

--Just listen to some of these predictions made by people who thought they knew what they were talking about:

1. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” - Thomas Watson,

Chairman of IBM, 1943

2. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of

communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” - Western Union internal

memo, 1876.

3. “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the

idea must be feasible.” - A Yale University management professor in response to Fred

Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service.

--Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.

4. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” - Ken Olson,

president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

5. “Who [in the world] wants to hear actors talk?” - H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers,


6. “I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.”

--Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With The Wind.”

7. “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” - Decca Recording

Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

8. “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” - Irving Fisher,

Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

9. “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” - Charles H. Duell,

Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

B. The future is something that Jesus warns us not to worry about:

--Mt. 6:34 – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about

itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

C. However, we have entered a transition phase here at First Christian

1. Today is my first Sunday as your preaching minister

a. My family and I have moved almost all of our belonging to a house on NE 17th

St. here in Washington

b. It’s time to make preparations to move upward and onward

c. It’s time to prepare for the future

2. What kind of future do we have?

a. Jesus warned one congregation that their future didn’t look very bright

b. Church at Ephesus in Rev. 2:4-5 – “Yet I hold this against you: You

have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you

have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not

repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”

3. What is the guarantee that the future of the First Christian Church will be



 I can guarantee you today that First Christian can be a great church with a fantastic future!

*How can I do that?

**How can I stand here today and guarantee a great future?

***TEXT: MATTHEW 16:13-19

****Based on the word of God, I want to tell you three reasons that First Christian can look forward to

a great future

A. The first reason for believing that First Christian can have a fantastic future: God Delights in Using

Imperfect People

1. When God builds a church, He always uses weak and imperfect people

--People we probably wouldn’t have chosen for the job

2. If we were going to choose people for a great task, we would probably look for someone who has

accomplished great things; someone with proven skills.

a. An entrepreneur who has been successful at building a thriving business

b. A politician who has been successful building a great society.

c. A great humanitarian who has been successful at alleviating great need.

d. An athlete who has been successful at accomplishing great feats.

e. At least someone who shows great potential in one or more of those areas.

3. But God has chosen a different method

--1 Cor. 1:27 & 28 – “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose

the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the

despised things – and the thing that are not – to nullify the things that are.”

4. Can Jesus use those who have accomplished great things in other areas for His kingdom?

a. Most certainly can

b. He just chooses to use those of us who are imperfect so that He can teach us what we can do

through Him

c. He does it to remind us that “what is impossible with man is possible with God.”

5. God can use you in the process of “building the church”

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